Japanese art and Hayami Gyoshū (1894-1935): Camellia Petals Scattering

Japanese art and Hayami Gyoshū (1894-1935): Camellia Petals Scattering

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Hayami Gyoshū (1894-1935) was born in Tokyo and art would become a way of life from a very young age. Like other artists born in the Meiji Period (1868-1912) a new Japan was dawning. Hence, the old traditional art forms were now challenged – or fused – with Western art depending on each artist.

At the age of 15, Gyoshū studied traditional artistic techniques during his apprenticeship. He served under Matsumoto Fūko and quickly became noticed. Therefore, two years later he was invited by Shikō Imamura to join the Kojikai circle of innovative young artists.

However, rather than focus extensively on his life, the main focus is on his adorable art piece titled Camellia Petals Scattering. In this art piece, Gyoshū visited Kyoto and viewed the historical camellia tree (Goshiki Yae Chiri Tsubaki).

One can only imagine how he felt during his visit to the Jizo-in temple in Kyoto. Equally, his passion before reaching the temple must have built up tremendously. Therefore, with each movement on his sketch, a fusion of ideas entered his mindset.

Of course, art is open to interpretation. Yet I view the petals on the floor with fading hope and the reality of life. On the one hand, you have a stunning camellia tree full of the beauty of this world. However, on the other hand, the gradual reality of life with each petal on the ground representing fading hope and dreams.

Irrespective of the meaning – or just purely an art piece inspired by Suzuki Kiitsu (1795-1858) – the outcome is dramatic.


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